tv [untitled] September 6, 2010 5:30pm-6:00pm PST
to these patrol specials. however, you are doing this free of charge and you are doing it without oversight of day-to-day activities. again, the gap has been created, keeping you in that chain of liability. the other area that we looked at, because the patrol specials put out information to the public, through pamphlets and publications, and expresses quite often that patrol specials are free to the taxpayer. so there is not a tax burden on the citizenry, but in fact that is not correct. there is a position within the san francisco police department that is the liaison to the patrol specials. there is administrative time spent by the command staff and by the lieutenant for your liaison to the commission, as well as all the time that other city departments are placing on this. are very conservative number is
not shocking, given the whole budget of the whole city, but it is the fact that the city is providing free services to a private business that have been contracting outside of the city for what ever contract they want to set up without your oversight and recouping the benefit of city services. again, the number is conservative. we do not want to put extra burden on other parts of the city. that is something that you can follow up with with the controller's office to get other numbers, such as the thing with legal cases. we looked at 11 different cases. some of them are in fact placed against the commission, where the patrol specials have pursued the commission. and every case, the patrol specials have lost their suit, but has taken time and resources to defend against those cases. what is noticeable and notable about that is often the lawsuits are against rules and regulations. if you put a role in place, you
have been sued for that. -- if you put a rule in place, you been sued for that and that is ticking of times and resources. the other thing we found through our research is the patrol specials routinely were disregarding your rules. one of the big things is the uniforms. if you look at the screen, this is out of today's paper. as recent as today, a patrol special is photographed in public out of uniform. as you notice, they are not wearing the blue epaulets on the soldier -- on the shoulder and they are out of uniform. that is in today's paper. when we went out to look at different areas of the patrol specials, we saw numerous infractions of the rules and procedures. the uniform and what the rules say, and what california says, is these patrol specials are not
in position to be making arrests. however, they have made arrests, both through our visual observation of them and on videotapes we have seen. they have not only made the arrests but preceded the arrests by calling themselves police. the state of california and the commission did not recognize patrol specials as police, yet they are letting the public think they are police. this whole issue of the uniform causes confusion. when we talked to people in the public and asked them what a patrol special was or what the difference was, because the uniform is so similar to that of the san francisco police department, there is a lot of confusion. that is not something that is in the best interests of the police department and of the city. our goal was to look at how does the operation of the patrol special fit with the mission, vision, and values of the san francisco police department. you have someone out on the
street wearing a uniform that looks very similar to the san francisco police department, and in fact the patrol specials expressed concern that if they did not look like the san francisco police department, they would not garner the respect of the people in public. so it is a known confusion. they are aware of it. people and the public are aware is hard to distinguish. so patrol specials could be doing something improperly and be mistaken for a member of the police department. that is all of concern. the fact you had to create interim rules to address the fact that people under your authority refused to wear the light blue shirt is of concern. it shows blatant disregard for the rules. certainly, they have said if they wear a light blue that they are going to be visible to criminals. they don't want to be seen by criminals. there is law enforcement across the country that wears light blue. there are many other law
enforcement that where other colors. there is no reason for patrol specials to look like the police department itself. one of the other things we discovered it is there has been great discussion of how the patrol specials or the entity that should be performing community policing activities. if you look at the history here, on the commission, you have spent valuable time and resources taking a look at the police department, a lot of reorganization, and a lot of effort place towards community engagement. five years ago, we had a study on community policing. there was a lot of community policing emphasis with the police executive review and the three reports that came out of that. to have an entity under the commission publicly saying that the san francisco police department is not the right entity to be conducting community policing flies in the face of the mission, visions, and values that you have set for your own police department.
let me talk about the advertising. there is actually a rule that states that patrol specials must have their advertising approved by the san francisco police chief. that has not been done. there is a lot of media, text media, distributed media that goes out without the approval of sfpd. that is a blatant violation of rules and procedures. in fact, the distribution of literature on patrol specials was so unsettling to was that we want to call to the attention of the commission and sfpd that on several occasions we look at literature that was handed out by the patrol specials and, in fact, said if something goes wrong at your establishment, call us. if something goes wrong here on the streets of san francisco that is of a nature that needs police attention, citizens should be directed to call
police. somebody acting under your charge and under your direction and authority of the commission should not be asking citizens to not call the police. again, getting back to where they patrol, there has been a lot of discussion about community policing, a lot of community members. we asked for and the commission asked for as part of this the client list of the patrol specials. they would not give that willingly. not only would they not give the client list, they would not disclose what they made or when and where they worked or what activities they were doing. some complied and a minimal way and give us short lists. with those short lists, we not only went out on our own but took up the offer of some patrol specials to meet them at their clients' location and look around. because most of the public does not know what the patrol specials are, we wanted to share
a few photographs with you. this is one area that is a patrol special location. this was taken in the middle of the day. it is boarded up buildings. while this is an important service the patrol special is providing to that individual client, it is not something that they need to be doing under the city. this is a security function. bacon be doing it without the city. -- they can be doing it without the city. a second picture, similar location, downtown. there are several streets. there are buildings on this street that are boarded up. the role of the client patrol special is to go there and make sure the doors are still intact. at the boards are still on walls and that any cameras that are on the building have not been damaged. >> that is my old office.
>> you are not supposed to know where that is. >> sorry. >> this is another. that is a patrol special area. there are many small businesses and the it's a large warehouse buildings and a hired to patrol specials to go out nightly and look at the buildings to make sure they are intact. a good, fine service for a security company to provide to a private location and private client. we're not dismissing that it is an important service, it is just not one that needs to be done under the auspices of the police commission. this particular location is in a neighborhood. again, people go away. they might want their house checked by someone. perfectly fine, but not something that needs to be done under a patrol special that is under the commission. so these are all activities that should be done by private security company. there are two other locations
that are unique. this particular one, they started hiring patrol specials after a very unfortunate incident. while it was unfortunate and we do not want to dismiss the severity of it, incidents like that tend to be random. so having want someone stationed there -- so having someone stationed there may or may not call something to happen. as you know, there have been unfortunate incidents right outside of the police department. there has been an unfortunate incident with a patrol specialist present. the mere presence of the uniform does not mean a crime will not happen. we're not dismissing the importance that the citizens or the business place on having the patrol special there, they're not performing a service that needs to be done under the commission or affiliated with the city. this picture is another business location that has had lots of clients.
they were individual businesses. certainly, the patrol special in this area was a very popular patrol special and did a service for their individual private clients. so how does this differ from what is happening now? because the patrol specials are private business, and you cannot direct and control their activities, they are not working for you. there has been lots of discussion around the fact that since the city is in a tough economic time, as are many other cities, and there has been promotion for supporters and by the patrol specials themselves that you, the commission, the city, the san francisco police department itself, should hire them. one of the examples is around muni. they said, hire us, we can ride the muni.
crime and north beach, crime running rampant. why is it that this entity under the commission is speaking about crime and saying if anything is going wrong, when it may or may not be. that is for the police department to be making the statements on behalf of the city, and that goes back to the fact they are advertising and promoting the patrol specials without going through the san francisco police department. that is certainly a complication. why i bring this out is because, at first glance, that may seem to be a good solution -- patrol specials, let's hire them -- but the reality is you cannot. the city cannot just decide that you are going to hire some private individual to perform a function. if you want private security on the buses or any location in the
city, the only way you could do that is to it publicly. this city is well known for fairness and transparency. you cannot just hire a private business to perform a service for you without actually advertising that. again, our basic recommendation is for you to not have any connection with the patrol specials. we understand there is history there, but as someone told me earlier this week, back in the days when patrol specials start, we also had the pony express. things change, but times change, the needs of the city changed. what we're saying is the patrol specials can keep their businesses. we're not taking away anyone's livelihood with this recommendation. what we're suggesting is you allow them to become security guards. right now, the assistant patrol specials actually have their security guard card, said that leaves a few patrol specials
that would need to transition to that. we know that cannot happen overnight. in the interim, we suggest there are clear steps taken to limit the exposure, mitigate the risks when it comes to the city. first and foremost is the color of the uniforms. our report says use light blue because that was in the original rule. quite honestly, to what it does not matter. if it is light green, light tan, light blue, as long as it is decidedly different from the san francisco police department. let the san francisco police department keep the star and the patrol specials keep the shield. let's separate the difference. let's make sure they are a different color. this whole issue of accountability. right now, you are getting greater compliance. if they're going to be under your auspices, not only do they
need to sign in and out, but you should also know exactly where they're going to be. because they have this alliance with you now, it is important for you to know exactly what businesses they are serving, the hours, and their duties so it is not in conflict with what is allowed by sfpd. their insurance cards, their firearms cards all need to be in on time. we looked at place at the records -- we looked at length at the records. late notices, late notices. other private businesses in the city did not have that luxury of late notices. if you are late, you could no longer work. we suggest you do that as well. when it comes to the police radios, we suggest in the interim there is no access to police information by a civilian who was not working for the san francisco police department. with that, you should turn off
the radio communications. they say it is for safety. there are many security companies that have their own radio systems. it is permissible for them to have that and is a great idea for safety and communication between one another. however, they should not have access to police information at all. they should not have access to the back part of the police station. when they signed an, a should be on the citizen side of the glass. we have heard that the patrol specials are getting hot sheet, which is police information. disch not be having that. -- they should not be having that. there has to be specific controls on their vehicles. we have not observed patrol specials by letting traffic laws, going up one-way streets. -- we have witnessed them violating traffic laws, going up one-way streets. all of these are interim steps, along awith seizing and
assisting, mitigating your risks and liability, but still allowing the patrol specials to do their work. drpvagain, are highest and best recommendation to you is to divest yourself of any oversight of the patrol specials, allow them to keep their businesses, their clients, and security companies, but do that just as all the other security company is due out in the city. i told lieutenant reilly i would take 18 minutes. i am sure i am over, but i appreciate the time to present and i will entertain any questions you may have at this time. president marshall: 1 statement first, and then commissioners can jump in. from my reading and conversation, the one thing you are not saying is that the patrol specials have not or do not provide a service that a lot
of citizens are pleased with. >> absolutely not. president marshall: it was not a comment on the quality of their service, it was a look at the patrol specials and their relationship to the commission and to the police department and the city. >> exactly. the clients that we talked to, by and large, were pleased with the services. some said there could be a higher level of accountability. but they hand-picked about 160- some clients, 63 of which responded. their clients said they were happy. we don't dispute that. they are performing a service that citizens can be entitled to that a patrol special can provide. they just don't need to do it under the city. president marshall: commissioner kingsley, you are first. commissioner kingsley: a follow- up to dr. marshall's question.
did you attempt to measure, quantify any benefits to the city from the police specials? >> we did, actually. we asked for their records, and most of them did not have any. when you ask, what do you do day to day, what are the things you are performing for the citizens, very spotty at best. in order to have something quantifiable, everybody has to submit the same information in the same way. they did not keep databases, so it is hard to tell, but we do not dismiss that they, like any other security guards, have an impact on public safety. however, what they don't offer is the ability to use their services to address the concerns of the city and the city government. just like any of the other private security -- for example, there is a private firm that has a fixed booth at a location. i am sure that person out there has made some people say, oh,
there is someone there, i better not do something. what is hard to do, commissioners, is interview the people who might have done something and not because someone was there. the absence of crime is difficult to measure. just like any other security company out there, can make a difference at first glance? sure, but it is not to the benefit of the city itself in a measurable way. commissioner kingsley: thank you. president marshall: next commissioner? commissioner mazzucco? vice president mazzucco: thank you for the report. what you are saying is patrol specials can still exist, but not monitored by the police department and police commission but rather like other private security businesses. what are the other companies? >> i can give a few of the larger names. you have wells fargo, pinkerton. private security is a growing industry, and we don't dismiss
that. we don't dismiss the notion that private security plays a role in our world today. that is a basic fact. there is more of them than there are sworn law enforcement, so we don't dismiss their viability. what happens, whether, now you have this private firm that is under the city, and when we looked at what are the reasons why it needs to be under the city, we cannot find any. their biggest concern is if they don't concern issfpd, they don't get the respect with a meineke client, but for us that is not a compelling reason -- or they might not get a client, but for us that is not a compelling reason. security is a growing industry. i am sure they will have a fine livelihood outside the city, but there is nothing they are offering to do or that you could offer to them other than that the services you are now in this connection with the city and the sfpd.
they can still help the citizenry, the private individual and private business. they just don't need to be under you. vice president mazzucco: did you find anything about the rates that patrol specials sell to their clients? what are the rates they get? and does that compare differently from what private security businesses are getting. our patrol specials getting more because of this affiliation with the san francisco police department and the police commission? do they get an inflated rate because of that? >> the simple answer is, no, we did not get the information on exactly the rates. the patrol specials refused to give that to us and refused to give it to the commission. to do a great cost analysis for private businesses so that the look at the ancillary services we want for safety, and little bit is possible to do. i can give the range. there is a public web site that the patrol special supporters have that says between $20-$25.
some others say $48. we have some correspondence from patrol specials that some might have been getting $75-$100 per year. there is no consistency. what we had been asking for is give us the lowdown so we can understand if you are servicing this type of private client, what are they asking you to do. is it checking at night time when they're not there, checking a house when they're on vacation. they refused to do that, so we cannot provide the citizens with a good gauge of what private security costs and what patrol services cost. it is all over the board. it is anecdotal and we cannot give you anything definitive on that. vice president mazzucco: we as a commission have no control over the rates they are selling their services to the committee? and interestingly enough, you don't, where as in other areas you do. with cabs, the city regulates the cabs. every citizen knows when you get
in the cap, the rates are on the back. that is defined. other regulatory boards in the city have that liberty to place on people that have a cab at medallion -- that have a cab medallion. you don't have that. it could be anything. we don't know. vice president mazzucco: thank you. >> this is a difficult report for me and i see benefits to the patrol specials, looking at the report. it certainly paints a disturbing portrait regarding violations of the rules, oversight. the commission is not equipped to do oversight. and the liability. those are concerns. but let me ask you this, can you explain how the patrol specials can keep their business if they're not in the commission? >> we would suggest is something
that goes a little against the rules. the rules state a patrol special cannot be secured a guard or have a security company at the same time. one of the things we would suggest to the commission and the department is to have some type of transition time, where is the patrol special is interested in keeping their account that they can in fact apply for their guard card and obtain that while still being a patrol special. if it were to do that tomorrow, that would be against the rules and regulations, but you could put that into a transition plans to have time to inform their clients, which quite honestly, there is nothing that should prevent the client from hiring them unless they're telling them something that is not true. right now, they don't have powers of arrest unless it is a felony arrest, like any other private guard. the ability to carry a firearm, security guards are allowed to carry firearms, which there are specific laws about that.